June has come and summer arrives. The Sixth month of the year lends to us the longest days in the northern hemisphere. It is the month of Midsummer’s Eve, which is the summer solstice. I remember June in the northeast as a child, hot and muggy, but cooler in the evening. School was ending and summer break beginning. The dusk would be filled with fireflies so that a Midsummer’s Dream seemed a real place. To this day, fireflies bring out the kid in me, reminding me of the wonder of summer vacation beginning.
June is the last month in the Old Roman calendar to have a non-numeric name; however later reforms to the calendar would add July and August re-naming the first two numeric months of Quintilis and Sextilis. June is thought to be named after either the Roman goddess Juno, or that it follows an alternate etymology for May (maiores “elders”) which is iuniores “juniors or young ones”.
The scene from the Très Riches for June shows people working the field and in the background the Palais de la Cité and the Sainte Chapelle. The Sainte Chapelle (Holy Chapel) was consecrated in 1248 and was commissioned by Louis IX of France to house relics from the Passion, one of which was the Crown of Thorns. An interesting note on this is that Jean, Duc de Berry, is said to have recieved several of the thorns from the crown from Charles V and VI.
The feasts on the General Roman Calendar celebrated during the month of June are:
1. Justin, Memorial
2. Marcellinus and Peter, Opt. Mem.
3. Trinity Sunday, Solemnity
5. Boniface, Memorial
6. Norbert, Opt. Mem.
9. Ephrem, Opt. Mem.
10. Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, Solemnity
11. Barnabas, Memorial
13. Anthony of Padua, Memorial
15. Sacred Heart of Jesus, Solemnity
16. Immaculate Heart of Mary, Memorial
17. Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sunday
19. Romuald, Opt. Mem.
21. Aloysius Gonzaga, Memorial
22. Paulinus of Nola; John Fisher and Thomas More, Opt. Mem.
24. Nativity of John the Baptist, Solemnity
26. Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer, Opt. Mem.
27. Cyril of Alexandria, Opt. Mem.
28. Irenaeus, Memorial
29. Peter and Paul, Solemnity
30. First Martyrs of the Church of Rome, Opt. Mem.